Miss Farah

Shy Students

Posted on: November 15, 2009






I have a very shy student in my class and she never answers or participates with class discussions. However, her grades are very good and they would be even better if she participates and expresses herself.

If she wants to go to the bathroom she comes to me while everyone is looking away and doesn’t even ask. She just shakes and puts her legs closer together meaning “May i go to the bathroom? ” It bothers me because i know she has potential to excel.

I’m sure many teachers go through the same issue and parents are concerned which is why you should read this post it can be very helpful:


Tips for helping a shy student:

1. Point out to students when good communication behaviors have occurred and why they are good behaviors. This should be done for all students. Do not single out shy students or label anyone as shy.

2. Never make fun of students. Don’t put students on the spot and keep them there while everyone watches them squirm. Have individual conferences with students to get to know them and find out about them as communicators.

3. Divide your class up into small peer groups for some activities. It is often much easier for a student to come out of his or her shell when there are fewer people to do it in front of.

4. Seat your shy student by some of your more friendly and talkative students. Of course, pay attention to whether or not the shy student starts to come more out of his or her shell… or retreat back into it. Sometimes it can help to be around someone who forces you to talk to them, but sometimes it can cause more anxiety.

How can parents help:

Don’t . . .

  • Cross the street to avoid people you are too nervous to see.
  • Embarrass your child in public.
  • Criticize people in public.
  • Berate yourself for having failed when you try things and they don’t turn out the way you would like.
  • Berate your children when they make a mistake. 

Arrange play dates for your children when they are young and seek out safe places for your children to interact with others and practice social skills as they get older (e.g., volunteer work, tutoring younger children, clubs and other structured activities with supportive group leaders).



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